Be Chaste to Bhagavatam - Part 7

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

This is in continuation of the previous mails transcribing the speech by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji in the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Mumbai, on the occasion of the first disappearance anniversary of our most beloved Gurudev HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj. In the last mail we saw the following points:

1. The mood of approaching Srimad Bhagavatam
2. The purpose of studying Srimad Bhagavatam
3. Royal road for relishing Bhagavatam
4. Attention leads to attraction for Bhagavatam
5. The pages of Bhagavatam come alive
6. The litmus test of being with Bhagavatam
7. The spirit of hearing Bhagavatam with eagerness
8. Seva without Bhagavatam is social service

We shall continue further in this offering.

9. Srimad Bhagavatam builds the temple: Above everything else, Maharaj is known for his personal nature. Maharaj had no secretaries. So he only had his mobile with him. You could call him 24x7 and he would pick up the phone and if you ask, "Maharaj, I read this verse and I could not understand this", he would get the verse, he will read it and he would give a 15-minute private one to one nectarean lecture on the verse. On the other side, in Rajkot and Dwaraka, we would be in the middle of something very big for temple construction and Maharaj would tell, "Stop everything now! I want to speak Srimad Bhagavatam." Everything will stop. We would ask Maharaj, "We have to do all this work", and Maharaj would show Bhagavatam and say, "This is building that (temple). Do not forget that. Not Lakshmi. Not anything. It is Srimad Bhagavatam."

10. Get wedded to Srimad Bhagavatam: We called Maharaj for everything. Devotees called Maharaj when they had problems with their wives and matajis called Maharaj when they had problems with their husbands. In London, Maharaj was the most famous sannyasi because all conflicts between husbands and wives, Maharaj was sent. When I went to London, when Maharaj had a stroke in 2000, so many people came whom I did not know. They all came and said, "If not for your Guru Maharaj, our marriage would have gone. He would spend hours and hours with us telling us to put Bhagavatam in the centre." Maharaj always said, "Get married to Srimad Bhagavatam even if you are married to each other." When I got married in front of Maharaj in Dwaraka in 1997, he took both me and my wife aside and told me, "Promise one thing now. Promise me that you will be married to Srimad Bhagavatam first and not to each other. Just promise me in front of the fire that it is Srimad Bhagavatam you are getting married to and you get married to Dwaraka and Rajkot Seva and never leave."

11. Be encouraged in devotional service by study of Bhagavatam: Maharaj would always tell us on thing. "Have courage son! Have courage daughter!" He gave the perfect formula. He said, "What does Srimad Bhagavatam say about the material world? Material nature is temporary. Your body is temporary. So how can your difficulties be permanent? Think about it. You go around preaching that your body is temporary. And are you not very happy that your difficulties are also temporary? Forget about the difficulties. Just be with Krishna. Smile." This is another thing he wanted us to do. He got angry with us when we did not smile. He threatened us in Singapore, "I won’t come to Singapore, because I see everybody is looking depressed. Why is depression the monopoly of Singapore?" He said, "No more. If you come, you have a watermelon face. I do not want rotten banana face." And really right till the end, when he saw devotees coming till the last time, despite all the pain he had, he would prop himself up with a smile, make everyone laugh, and got everyone to study Srimad Bhagavatam. This loving and encouraging nature of Maharaj is one thing we take with us.

He was very simple in his approach. One time a mataji came to him and told him, "Tulasi Maharani is not growing well. It must be my lack of devotion." Maharaj said, "It could be that there is not enough Sun. Do not take so many things to heart. Be encouraged in devotional service. Be courageous. As it is, your problems drag you down. Why to become discouraged and add another problem to your already existing problem?" That way he propped us up always.

Krishna willing, the other points spoken by prabhuji shall be transcribed and offered in the upcoming mails.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi,
Abu Dhabi.